Sky Hopinka was born and raised in Ferndale, Washington and spent a number of years in Palm Springs and Riverside, California, Portland, Oregon, and Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In Portland, he studied and taught chinuk wawa, a language indigenous to the Lower Columbia River Basin. His video, photo, and text work centers around personal positions of Indigenous homeland and landscape, designs of language as containers of culture expressed through personal, documentary, and non-fiction forms of media.
During his residency at Amant Siena, Hopinka will work on a two-channel video installation shot along the Mississippi River focusing on effigy mounds throughout the region. Looking at histories of the communities that are along the river, as well as stories and places, the piece will emphasize connections and movement through these landscapes and waterways.
He currently teaches at Bard College in Film and Electronic Arts. His work has played at various festivals including ImagineNATIVE Media + Arts Festival, Images, Wavelengths, Ann Arbor Film Festival, Sundance, and Projections. His work was part of the 2016 Wisconsin Triennial, the 2017 Whitney Biennial, and the 2018 FRONT Triennial. He was a guest curator at the 2019 Whitney Biennial and was a part of Cosmopolis #2 at the Centre Pompidou. He was a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University in 2018 - 2019; a Sundance Art of Nonfiction Fellow for 2019; a recipient of an Alpert Award for Film/Video and is a 2020 Guggenheim Fellow.